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"I think we could solve our problems more easily through strength of character; but that's always been a commodity in extremely short supply."
- Gregory Benford

Spaceship  
  A space-going vessel.  

The first mention of the word "spaceship" in science fiction, as far as I know.

"What sort of spaceship do you propose to have?" asked the vice-president.

"As you have to pass through but little air," said Deepwaters, "I should suggest a short-stroke cylinder of large diameter, with a flat base and dome roof, composed of aluminum, or, still better, of glucinum or beryllium as it is sometimes called, which is twice as good a conductor of electricity as aluminum, four times as strong, and is the lightest of all known metals, having a specific gravity of only two, which last property will be of great use to you, for of course the more weight you have to propel the more apergetic repulsion you will have to develop."

"I will get some drawing-paper I left outside in my trap," said Ayrault, "when with your ideas we may arrive at something definite," saying which, he left the room.

From A Journey In Other Worlds, by John Jacob Astor IV.
Published by D. Appleton and Co. in 1894
Additional resources -

An earlier use of the hyphenated word "space-ship" has been found in an article entitled "A STRANGE JOURNEY" in The Pall Mall Gazette, London, England, Tuesday, January 20, 1880; Issue 4652.

"The Apergy once mastered, it was comparatively easy to anticipate and improve upon the ideas of a trifler like Jules Verne, and build a space-ship".

The article is apparently a review of Percy Greg's 1880 novel Across the Zodiac; the word "space-ship" does not appear in the novel.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from A Journey In Other Worlds
  More Ideas and Technology by John Jacob Astor IV
  Tech news articles related to A Journey In Other Worlds
  Tech news articles related to works by John Jacob Astor IV

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